The Ottawa area's weekly COVID-19 vaccination checkup: Nov. 25

·7 min read
Solome Walker, 9, looks down at her bandage after getting her first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot at a vaccination clinic for young students on Nov. 13 in Louisville, Ky. (Laura Ungar/The Associated Press - image credit)
Solome Walker, 9, looks down at her bandage after getting her first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot at a vaccination clinic for young students on Nov. 13 in Louisville, Ky. (Laura Ungar/The Associated Press - image credit)
Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Highlights:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children as young as five.

  • We have details of local plans for this expansion.

  • A vaccine could be approved for children under five in early 2022.

  • Some of Canada's international travel rules are changing.

  • Kingston and Renfrew County tighten some rules for their areas.

Every Thursday, CBC Ottawa brings you this roundup of COVID-19 vaccination developments throughout the region. You can find more information through links at the bottom of the page.

There have been more than 3.6 million doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.

That's more than 18,000 doses in the last week, slightly fewer than the week before.

Provincial picture

A major development in Canada's pandemic happened last week: Health Canada approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for kids as young as five.

Health Canada said clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children five to 11 years of age and no serious side effects were identified.

WATCH | Kids in Ottawa react to becoming eligible for a vaccine:

Ontario opened booking for kids born in 2016 and earlier on Tuesday morning. The first shots went out later that day in Toronto.

WATCH | Younger children are now getting COVID-19 vaccines:

Quebec also opened booking on Tuesday and started vaccinating on Wednesday, including in the Outaouais.

In Quebec, children have to be five at the time their appointment is booked. That province is going to hold clinics in schools for kids with written consent to get vaccinated, and gives the option for siblings to share a time slot.

Both provinces are going to give doses to this age group at least eight weeks apart.

Unlike older people, the national vaccine task force does not recommend kids this age get a flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

Children under the age of five could potentially be vaccinated for COVID-19 as early as the new year, according to Canada's chief public health officer.

Quebec is also now offering third vaccine doses to people age 70 and up, along with those who got two doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covishield vaccine.

Ninety-one per cent of Quebec residents age 12 and up have had at least one dose and 88 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Eighty-nine per cent of Ontario residents of that age have at least one vaccine dose, while about 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Local health authorities have not added newly eligible children to their vaccine updates yet.

Starting Tuesday, Canada will recognize as fully vaccinated those who were inoculated with World Health Organization approved vaccines Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN.

The government also said starting Jan. 15 certain groups of travellers currently exempt from certain entry requirements will only be allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated.

Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health's plan to vaccinate younger kids includes nearly doubling the number of community vaccine clinics, holding after-hours clinics at dozens of schools and using pharmacies and family doctors.

The expansion grows its vaccine-eligible pool by about 77,000 people.

Overall, the capital still has regular and pop-up clinics for anyone eligible to get a first, second or third dose, as well as neighbourhood vaccine hubs, and it's bringing mobile vaccine clinics to those who request it.

More than 1.6 million doses have now been given to Ottawa residents.

Of the city's total population of just over one million, 80 per cent of residents have had at least one dose, including 91 per cent of residents born in 2009 or earlier.

Seventy-seven per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated, as are 88 per cent of the 12+ population.

Western Quebec

Parents are urged to make an appointment through the online system, but walk-in appointments will be available Saturdays at the Palais des Congrès between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The appointments offered to younger children in the Outaouais will be dedicated entirely to them, the health unit said, and also feature children's television programs in waiting areas, surprises after they receive their dose and support dogs during certain time slots.

About 33,500 local kids are included in this eligibility expansion.

WATCH | What Quebec's 5-11 vaccine campaign looks like:

CISSSO continues to list recurring, mobile and pop-up clinics online.

The Outaouais has distributed about 614,000 doses — combined first, second and third — among a population of about 386,000.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington

About 13,000 children are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in this area.

It's offering shots to them at its three main clinics and bringing a mobile clinic to a different high school every week, starting with Napanee District Secondary School on Thursday.

WATCH | A Q&A about these new vaccines for younger children:

Its medical officer of health is making children age 12 to 17 be vaccinated to play indoor sports as it tries to turn around its COVID-19 problem. They have to have a first dose by Dec. 6 and a second by Feb. 25, 2022.

It's still managing smaller clinics and mobile clinics to better reach areas with lower vaccination rates, with options shared regularly online and on its social feeds.

The health unit has now given a first dose to about 91 per cent of its population 12 and older. More than 87 per cent of that group have been fully vaccinated.

The region, with a population of about 213,000, has had about 345,000 vaccine doses — combined first, second and third — given to residents.

About 8,000 residents have had a third dose.

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said Monday about 15,000 children are now eligible. He estimated 50 to 60 per cent of their parents are ready to go and another 30 per cent will be once they get some questions answered by people such as their family doctor or the health unit.

Some of its clinics listed over the next several weeks are just for children age five to 11. Roumeliotis said there will be walk-in clinics at schools on three straight weekends starting Dec. 4 that will be spread out over the area.

WATCH | His vaccine expansion update starts around 7:30:

More than 336,000 vaccine doses have been administered among a population of about 209,000, including more than 5,800 third doses.

About 92 per cent of residents 12 and older are partially vaccinated, and about 89 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Details for its regular and pop-up vaccine clinics are regularly shared on its website and social media.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark

Appointments for newly eligible kids are recommended because they get priority at its clinics, though walk-ins may be possible. Doses will start going out on Friday.

There will be some kids-only clinics in Brockville and Smiths Falls next month, though parents who qualify for a dose can get vaccinated at the same time as their child.

Health officials have some tips for getting younger kids ready for a vaccine.

WATCH | Some of those tips:

The health unit has given about 305,000 doses to residents, which now includes about 5,400 third doses.

It is seeing 95 per cent of its population age 12 and up with at least one dose and about 92 per cent of those residents have at least two doses.

The unit is posting walk-up vaccine locations on Twitter and online.

Hastings Prince Edward

About 269,000 doses have been administered to this area's residents, including more than 5,700 third doses.

Ninety per cent of the local population 12 and older at least has a first dose. Eighty-five per cent are fully vaccinated.

There are regular clinics in Bancroft, Belleville and Picton. It lists other community options on its website and is not offering walk-in shots for newly eligible children.

Renfrew County

Because of a rising case count, the health unit now requires all people, regardless of symptoms or vaccination status, to isolate and get a PCR test if they live with someone who has tested positive.

With a population of about 109,000, Renfrew County has distributed nearly 160,000 doses.

About 89 per cent of its population above age 12, including military at Garrison Petawawa, have at least a first dose and about 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The health unit regularly shares pop-up and walk-in clinic information online.

That includes a clinic by appointment only for children age five to 11 at the unit's Pembroke office Friday afternoon. It's also compiling a list of local pharmacies that are offering these shots.

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